What’s News, Breaking: Friday, October 20, 2023
NY LAUNCHES NEW HOTLINE
TO REPORT HATE AND BIAS CRIMES
STATEWIDE — A NEW HOTLINE HAS BEEN LAUNCHED TO REPORT HATE CRIMES AND BIAS INCIDENTS, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Friday afternoon, Oct. 20. The telephone hotline (844-NO-2-HATE) and online form, launched in conjunction with the NYS Division of Human Rights’ Hate and Bias Prevention Unit, enable people to report incidents directly to that office. HBPU encourages all New Yorkers to contact the Unit if they or someone they know has experienced an incident involving hate or discrimination.
Friday’s announcement was made as Jewish, Arab, Muslim, and other communities across New York State and around the country face prejudice and violence in the wake of the bloody conflict involving Israel and Hamas.
PLYMOUTH CHURCH TO HOST YANKEE FAIR
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — PLYMOUTH CHURCH IS HOSTING ITS ANNUAL FALL Yankee Fair next weekend, an old-fashioned church fair offering entertainment and goodies for all ages. Kids can enjoy a children’s block party outside the church with rides, pumpkin-decorating and face-painting; inside will be a market filled with handmade and vintage treasures, high-end thrift clothing, books and more, as well as sing-alongs and history tours focusing on Plymouth’s role in the Underground Railroad — and plenty of snacks and food.
The Yankee Fair will be held on Oct. 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Plymouth Church; admittance is free and open to the public.
POLICE SEEK MEN WHO ATTACKED PRO-PALESTINE TEEN
BAY RIDGE — POLICE ARE SEARCHING FOR A GROUP OF NINE MEN WHO attacked and injured a teenager in an alleged anti-Palestinian hate crime earlier this month, reports amNY, apparently motivated by the recent surge in violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Police say that on the night of Oct. 11, an 18-year-old boy walking on 86th Street yelled “Free Palestine,” at three cars displaying Israeli flags; the drivers stopped the cars, and nine men emerged and began to punch and kick the teen, inflicting minor injuries, before getting back in their cars and driving off.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on X (Twitter) @NYPDTips.
THEATRE GROUP TO HOST PLAY IN CANOES ON NEWTOWN CREEK
GREENPOINT — AN AVANT-GARDE THEATRE GROUP IS SET TO HOST an environmentally focused play in a unique venue this weekend, reports the New York Post: a 14-seat canoe on the heavily polluted Newtown Creek, between Brooklyn and Queens. The play, “River Watchers,” is a fourth-wall-breaking performance focusing on two characters’ efforts to save the creek from ecological destruction; audience members will become part of the show themselves and will paddle the canoe throughout its runtime.
“River Watchers” will have only ten performances, from Oct. 19 through Oct. 22 and from Oct. 26 through Oct. 29; tickets and more information can be found on the website of the theatre group, The Motor Company NYC.
INTERFAITH HOSPITAL DOCTORS SET TO GET NEW FREE HOUSING
BED-STUY — STAFF AT INTERFAITH HOSPITAL IN BED-STUY on Thursday celebrated the opening of a new residence building, operated by the Brooklyn Health Equity Foundation, that will offer free housing to doctors at the hospital, reports News 12. The foundation’s goal is to help Interfaith retain doctors who are able to live in their local communities, coming in response to soaring housing costs.
The new Herkimer Street building will be able to house six doctors, as well as the offices of the BHEF on its ground floor; chairman Howard K. Williams told News 12 that they hope to build more such residences in the future.
TRAVELERS UPSTATE URGED TO USE CAUTION
WITH MORE WILDLIFE ON ROADWAYS
STATEWIDE — IT’S DEER AND MOOSE MATING SEASON, which means the hazard of more vehicle collisions involving these animals, cautions the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Motor Vehicles. The two state agencies remind NYC residents driving to points upstate that deer and moose are most active and more likely to enter public roadways during the autumn as they search for mates during their breeding season — October through December. According to the University at Albany’s Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, in 2022, 41.5% of crashes between deer and vehicles occurred during this three-month span.
Motorists in the Adirondacks and surrounding areas should particularly be on alert for moose on roadways, as moose are much larger and taller than deer, and their large size can result in significant damage to vehicles. Moose are especially difficult to see at night because of their dark coloring and their height — placing them above the range of headlights.
‘PROPTECH’ COMPANIES FIND A HOME IN BROOKLYN
BOROUGHWIDE — AFTER COVID-19, AN EXODUS FROM MANHATTAN TO BROOKLYN began looking good to professionals including “proptech” (property technology) founders and venture capitalists, the Commercial Observer reports. CO profiles proptech company Peek, whose founders both moved from different locations to Williamsburg, with half of their employees living in Brooklyn. Other Brooklyn-based proptech startups are located in DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
“I do think places like Brooklyn and, frankly, up and down the Brooklyn waterfront, especially in DUMBO, there’s this community for early-stage companies that are scrappy, that are building something,” said William Sankey, CEO at DUMBO-based real estate development software company Northspyre.
LEADER JEFFRIES SUGGESTS DEMOCRATS MIGHT
SUPPORT GOP SPEAKER CANDIDATE TO END STALEMATE
CAPITOL HILL — FOLLOWING EMBATTLED OHIO CONGRESSMAN JIM JORDAN’S THIRD LOSS in his quest to become Speaker of the House, Congressional Republicans dropped his name from its list of nominees, the Associated Press reported at 2:10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20. This marks 17 days since former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s unprecedented ouster that the branch of Congress has been without a Speaker, halting its ability to conduct business in a time of international crisis. Meanwhile, the Daily News quoted House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a Brooklyn Congressman representing New York’s 8th District: “We are going to be here for as long as it takes to end this national nightmare.”
Jeffries added that Democrats could consider supporting a future Republican speaker candidate if it becomes obvious that no GOP candidate can win 217 of its party’s votes. During Friday’s third round, Jordan got only 194 votes, as more New York Republicans in swing districts voted against him.
$4M FUNDING TO FIX UP BPL’s JAMAICA BAY LIBRARY
CANARSIE — BROOKLYN OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED THAT JAMAICA BAY LIBRARY in Canarsie would be receiving $4 million in the FY24 budget for capital improvements, including a $3 million capital grant from the City Council via Councilmember Mercedes Narcisse and $1 million from Borough President Antonio Reynoso, allocated to upgrade the roof, HVAC, and fire and safety systems.
On Tuesday, Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library, thanked Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Narcisse and Reynoso for funding the improvements to the 50-year-old branch, located near the Jamaica Bay Coastal Lagoon.
MARYLAND MAN INDICTED FOR MURDER OVER PARKING SPACE AT BROOKLYN HOME DEPOT
DOWNTOWN — A MARYLAND MAN WAS INDICTED IN BROOKLYN on Friday on charges of murder and attempted murder for allegedly killing a young woman and injuring her boyfriend, following a dispute over a parking space at a Home Depot in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Sept. 9. Brooklyn D.A. Eric Gonzalez charged Quincy James Davis, 58, with walking to the driver’s side of the victim’s vehicle and opening fire, killing Imani Sharpless, 26, with a gunshot to the head and wounding her boyfriend, who was behind the wheel. Davis is being held without bail and faces 25-to-life if convicted.
Gonzalez said, “Imani Sharpless was a young woman with her whole life ahead of her. She died senselessly after this defendant allegedly callously opened fire on two innocent people over a minor dispute, leaving her family and friends heartbroken.”
SUSPECT ARRAIGNED IN STABBING OF BELOVED BROOKLYN ACTIVIST
DOWNTOWN — BRIAN DOWLING, 18, WAS ARRAIGNED ON AN INDICTMENT ON FRIDAY for the savage and unprovoked murder of beloved Brooklyn activist Ryan Carson in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Oct. 2, Brooklyn D.A. Eric Gonzalez announced. The attack was caught on video and additional evidence, including a knife, allegedly connected the defendant to the crime. Dowling, who was arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun, was ordered to be held without bail and faces 25-to-life if convicted. The video showed that Carson attempted to flee but fell over a bus stop bench, after which Dowling allegedly stabbed him multiple times, striking his heart.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Ryan Carson was a promising and passionate man who worked to make our society better. Many of us watched the horrific video that showed his life being snuffed away senselessly, for no reason at all.”
CHECK THAT LOTTERY TICKET IF YOU BOUGHT IT IN BROOKLYN D.A.’S BUILDING
DOWNTOWN — SOMEONE WHO BOUGHT A TAKE 5 LOTTERY TICKET in Downtown Brooklyn at HENA 350, located in the same building that houses the Brooklyn District Attorney and other government offices, is almost $20,000 richer today, according to the New York Lottery. The shop sold one prize-winning ticket for the drawing that took place midday on Thursday, Oct. 19, worth $19,633. The prize can be claimed up to one year from the date of the lottery.
New Yorkers struggling with a gambling addiction can find help at NYProblemGamblingHelp.org, by calling New York’s toll-free confidential HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or texting HOPENY (467369).
ER DOC AT BROOKDALE INVESTIGATED FOR PRO-HAMAS INSTAGRAM POST
EAST FLATBUSH — AN EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR with Brookdale University Hospital & Medical Center in East Flatbush, and Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side, has been fired from Lenox Hill for a controversial Instagram post that applauded Hamas’ massacre in southern Israel, saying the attack gave Israelis “a taste of their own medicine,” the New York Post reports. NYC Health + Hospitals, which operates Brookdale, told the Post they were aware of Diab’s behavior and were investigating.
Dr. Dana Diab, a Palestinian raised in Qatar, was outed on Twitter/X by an account called Stop Antisemitism, which shared a screenshot of her Instagram post.
WOMAN KILLED AFTER TRIPPING IN MIDDLE OF BUSY INTERSECTION
BROADWAY TRIANGLE — A WOMAN TRIPPED IN A BUSY INTERSECTION and was run over by a car, suffering fatal injuries, on Wednesday morning at roughly 10:30 a.m. Bushwick resident Aurora Soto, 68, was headed south in the crosswalk on Broadway at Flushing Avenue when she tripped and fell in front of a 2012 white Jeep Grand Cherokee, operated by a 72-year-old woman traveling eastbound on Broadway. Police responders from the 79th Precinct found Soto unconscious and unresponsive with trauma about the body. EMS transported her to NYC Health & Hospitals/Kings County, where she was pronounced deceased.
The operator of the Jeep remained on scene, and no criminality suspected at this time. The NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad is conducting the investigation.
NIGHTTIME WORK ON BQE TO CONTINUE, FURTHER WEEKEND WORK DELAYED
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — A SINGLE LANE OF THE BROOKLYN-QUEENS EXPRESSWAY in the Staten Island-bound direction will be closed from midnight to 5 a.m. to carry out repairs to the underdeck of the Queens-bound roadway at the Triple-Cantilever in Brooklyn Heights. These nighttime, single-lane closures will continue for the remainder of this year’s construction season (mid-November), DOT said in a statement. No lane closures in the Queens-bound direction are anticipated at this time, but DOT will shift traffic lanes in the Queens-bound direction.
Because the start of the project was delayed, the second extensive weekend closure has been delayed to some time in spring 2024, dates to be determined, DOT said.
KID AUTHOR TALKS HAIR, ‘AFFROMATIONS’ WITH JENNIFER HUDSON
CANARSIE — SEVEN-YEAR-OLD AUTHOR AND ONLINE STAR CASSIDY BRIDGES, a Brooklyn native, was featured on the Jennifer Hudson Show with her parents on Wednesday to promote her new picture book (co-written with mom Gabrielle), “Thank You, It’s An Afro.” Two years ago, Cassidy went viral for a short clip of her thanking a stranger for complimenting her halo of hair, and has since gained an online following for her bubbly personality and celebrations of individuality and natural beauty; with Hudson’s encouragement, she led the studio audience in a recitation of her daily confidence-boosting affirmation — or “Affromation” — routine.
Cassidy’s book is available for sale at Target, Walmart and Amazon, and is soon to hit the shelves of the children’s section at Brooklyn Public Library locations across the borough; more about her story can be found on Thank You, It’s An Afro, her website.
CONEY ISLAND PREP HOLDS FALL FESTIVAL
CONEY ISLAND — STUDENTS, PARENTS AND TEACHERS CELEBRATED the season at Coney Island Prep’s Fall Festival on Saturday, enjoying face-painting, caricatures, tasty autumn treats and more. High schoolers from the charter school and their families ran the community event, while a representative from the office of state Sen. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton stopped by to hand out coloring books to youngsters and hear constituent concerns; more than 400 visitors joined in the fun.
Senior Director of Family and Community Engagement Elizabeth Anoff said that the festival was intended to help build a sense of support and belonging and help kids stay engaged in preparing for college and beyond; Coney Island Prep, a public K-12 charter school, has a graduation rate of 100% and a matriculation rate of 93%.
BBP HARVEST FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK CONSERVANCY IS HOSTING the park’s annual Harvest Festival this weekend, featuring arts and crafts, face-painting, a marine animal touch-tank and more; snacks will be available from Fornino Pizza, Joe Coffee and Fluff + Fluff Cotton Candy. The highlight of the festival is the pumpkin patch, where Halloweenies of all ages can pick and decorate their own mini pumpkins; audiences can also enjoy live music and storytime sessions throughout the day.
The Harvest Festival is free to attend for all ages and will be held on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6; more information and a schedule of events can be found on the park’s website.
DISASTROUS LICH SALE GETS EVEN UGLIER AS LAWSUIT CONTINUES
COBBLE HILL — THE LAWSUIT-RIVEN SALE OF LONG ISLAND COLLEGE HOSPITAL (LICH) in Cobble Hill just gets uglier as previously secret details come out about an alleged behind-the-scenes deal Fortis Development Group claims the state made in 2014, and then reneged on, The Real Deal reports. Fortis is claiming in court that the State University of New York secretly promised Fortis $75M in credits based on NYU building a medical facility on the Cobble Hill site, despite it being a money-loser for Fortis. Fortis alleges it received verbal assurances from SUNY’s vice chancellor and Andrew Cuomo confidant Jim Malatras that Fortis would receive this bonus under the table.
The developer alleges SUNY was concerned about bad press and possible legal action if the news of the behind-the-scenes deal got out. SUNY was especially worried about a lawsuit from Don Peebles, a rejected bidder on the property, TRD reports. The Brooklyn Eagle has reported extensively on this Cuomo-backed deal.
TWO TEENS SHOT IN BED-STUY, CANARSIE
BED-STUY — TWO TEENAGERS WERE SHOT IN SEPARATE incidents on Wednesday morning, reports the New York Post, in a pair of shocking broad-daylight assaults; both boys survived and are in stable condition in borough hospitals, according to police. The first victim, age 17, was shot in the back in Bed-Stuy at Macon and Nostrand avenues at 9:15 a.m.; while the second, age 18, was hit in the lower back just an hour later at a Canarsie playground, forcing students at nearby Lenox Academy middle school to shelter in place.
Police told the Post that no arrests have been made so far in either case.
DEP WILL OVERSEE REPAIR OF SEWER BREAK ON BAY 32ND ST
BATH BEACH — THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION on Thursday, Oct. 19, advised Brooklyn Community Board 11 of a sewer break on Bay 32nd Street. DEP has contracted JR Cruz to replace the water main and then begin repairs of the sewer line during the week starting Oct. 23. Street opening permits have been obtained for several spots in the vicinity: Bay 32nd Street between Benson and Cropsey avenues; Bath Avenue between Bay 31st St. and 23rd Ave.; and Cropsey Avenue between 23rd Ave. and Bay 32nd St. Parking will be affected and the DEP and Community Board 11 will send more information as it is available.
Community Board 11 serves Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, Gravesend and Mapleton in southern Brooklyn.
RITE AID WILL CLOSE 2 STORES ALONG OCEAN AVE.
SHEEPSHEAD BAY — THE RITE AID PHARMACY GIANT, which on Monday, Oct. 16, announced its filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and restructuring, expects to close two of its stores in southern Brooklyn, News 12 Brooklyn reported on Thursday, Oct. 19. According to court papers that the television news network obtained, the initial closings include a Rite Aid store at 2002 Avenue U (corner of Ocean Avenue) in Sheepshead Bay and the store at 2981 Ocean Ave. (between Avenue Z and Jerome Ave).
The Avenue U store is nestled between Sheepshead Bay and Madison, a neighborhood to the north. No date was given on the closing.
BROOKLYN BP REYNOSO CONDEMNS HATE CRIMES LINKED TO MIDDLE EAST TENSIONS
BOROUGHWIDE — SAYING HE WAS DISGUSTED, BROOKLYN BOROUGH PRESIDENT ANTONIO REYNOSO on Thursday condemned recent alleged hate crimes in Brooklyn linked to the escalating violence in Israel and Palestine. “For generations, our borough has found its strength in diversity and Brooklynites’ ability to focus on that which unites us. The virtues of unity, compassion, and most importantly, humanity, have never been more important than they are right now. And in Brooklyn, we must hold them close, because the only way we will get through this dark time is together,” he said in a statement.
In one incident, nine men waving Israeli flags allegedly attacked a Palestinian man on a Bay Ridge street. In the other, two teens are accused of firing imitation guns outside a synagogue in Gravesend, 1010 WINS reports.
GOLDMAN: INFO FOR H.S. STUDENTS HOPING TO ATTEND MILITARY SERVICE ACADEMIES
BOROUGHWIDE — REP. DAN GOLDMAN HOSTED a virtual information session Wednesday night for Brooklyn high schoolers interested in applying for a Congressional nomination to attend a U.S. military Service Academy. The number of nominations per Congressional office is limited, and the application process is highly competitive.
“Students who receive a Congressional Nomination can go on to pursue a prestigious education of the highest quality, at no personal cost,” Goldman explained. Watch a recording of the event online.
DiNAPOLI: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INCREASED IN 2022; WOMEN COMPRISED 54% OF MURDER VICTIMS
CITYWIDE — THE NUMBER OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS INCREASED in 2022 by 8.5% in New York City and 8.7% in the rest of New York state when compared to 2019, according to an analysis by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, released during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, observed annually during October. DiNapoli’s report showed that one in four women and one in ten men have experienced sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime. In both New York City and the rest of the state, close to 70% of all domestic violence victims were hurt by their intimate partner, with 80% of intimate partner victims being female. Women were 54% of domestic homicide victims, a rate nearly five times greater than for non-domestic homicides.
The Office of the State Comptroller is conducting an audit focused on whether domestic violence programs and services are effectively coordinated between agencies to provide needed resources and support to domestic violence victims.
JUDGE ORDERS NYC & ADVOCATES FOR HOMELESS TO ENTER ARBITRATION
CITYWIDE — NEW YORK CITY AND ADVOCATES FOR THE HOMELESS were ordered by the court on Thursday to enter into mediation over the city’s fight to be relieved from the legal obligation to provide shelter to anyone who needs it. In May, Adams wrote to Deborah Kaplan, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the New York City Courts, seeking permission to move for relief from the provisions of Callahan v. Carey in light of the large numbers of asylum-seekers entering the city. Adams announced Monday that he was limiting shelter stays for migrant families with children to 60 days.
The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless said in a statement that they welcomed mediation, saying it would “allow for many of the measures recently put into place to actually materialize and live up to their full intended promise, including expedited processing of work authorization and the extension and re-designation of Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans, among other items.”
PALESTINE ADVOCATES SPAR WITH MAYOR OVER ISRAEL CONFLICT RESPONSE
CIVIC CENTER — MAYOR ADAMS RECEIVED CRITICISM this week over a contentious Zoom call last Thursday with the NYPD and members of the city’s Palestinian and Muslim communities, reports Gothamist, with several attendees describing Adams’ tone and remarks as condescending and insensitive. One Palestinian-American lawyer told Gothamist that she was muted by the meeting’s host after saying that the mayor’s description of a controversial Times Square rally on Oct. 7 as “extremism” could stir up violence against Muslims; a spokesperson for the mayor later responded that Adams has highlighted unity and spoken against anti-Muslim bigotry, but did not address specific criticisms made by meeting participants.
Adams had initially remained neutral at the Times Square rally, held one day after the attack on Israel by Gaza Strip governing party Hamas began, but later spoke out against it after images emerged of a protester displaying a swastika, an act the mayor called “insensitive and despicable.”
NEW LAW TO REQUIRE SAFETY CHECKS FOR SUMMER CAMP WORKERS
STATEWIDE — GOVERNOR HOCHUL THIS WEEK SIGNED A NEW LAW that will require operators of children’s day camps to search the Department of Justice’s public national sex offender database before hiring any employee or volunteer to ascertain whether that individual is listed and has committed a sex crime. The new law amends a previous regulation under which some camp operators were inappropriately directed to search a different database inaccessible to non-law enforcement parties.
The DOJ’s National Sex Offender Public Website links all state and territory sex offender registries into one national site that may be searched by name, address, zip code, county or city/town. New York state’s sex offender registry can be searched by name, county or zip code, but information available varies depending on offense.
NEW OCA DIVISION WILL MODERNIZE ACOUSTICS, DIGITAL TECH IN COURTROOMS
STATEWIDE — A NEW DIVISION OF COURT MODERNIZATION IS BEING CREATED within the Office Of Court Administration, Chief Administrative Judge Joseph A. Zayas and First Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Norman St. George announced on Thursday, Oct. 19. Sheng Guo, who brings two decades of experience with the NYS Unified Court System, will serve as Director of the Division. The court system’s Courtroom Modernization Initiative (CMI) Team, formed in 2019 with the goal of providing basic audio capacity to 1540 courtrooms, has seen its role increased in supporting in-person, hybrid and virtual court operations. DCM projects focus on audio and acoustics, accessibility, evidence presentation, videoconferencing, streaming and digital signage, among other areas, particularly in technology in each of Queens County Supreme Court’s Criminal Term’s 24 courtrooms.
Mr. Guo served as Chief Technology Officer of the New York State Unified Court System for over two decades. Sheng was named one of the Premier 100 IT leaders by Computer World in 2008.
NEW BILL WOULD ENSURE REIMBURSEMENT FOR AMERICANS STRANDED IN ISRAEL
STATEWIDE — STATE LEGISLATORS HAVE INTRODUCED A BILL THAT WILL ALLOW NEW YORK TO FINANCIALLY REIMBURSE RESIDENTS WHO ARE EVACUATING from Israel and the Palestinian territories during the crisis in the Holy Land. State Senator Julia Salazar (D/WF-18), who represents northern Brooklyn, is the primary sponsor of S7716, which would establish an emergency fund to cover otherwise unreimbursed expenses incurred relating to travel outside of Israel or Palestine as a direct result of the conflict that began on Oct. 7. Reimbursement will include costs relating to travel, lodging, lost personal property, medical care, other related expenses, and reimbursement provided to the United States government for such travel. Assemblymember Emily Gallagher (D-50) will be introducing the same bill in the NYS Assembly.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Oct. 18, Brooklyn Congress members Dan Goldman (D-10) and Nydia Velázquez (D-07) and Bronx Congressman Adriano Espaillat introduced The Safe Return Act to ensure that Americans stuck abroad would not have to repay the federal government.
PAST BROOKLYN FEDERAL JUDGE JOHN GLEESON RE-NOMINATED AS U.S. SENTENCING COMMISSIONER
NATIONWIDE — PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’S LATEST LIST OF JUDICIAL NOMINEES includes Judge John Gleeson, who for more than three decades served the U.S. District Court/Eastern District Of New York. Judge Gleeson has been re-nominated as one of two experienced and qualified Commissioners of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a bipartisan independent agency created during the Reagan Administration to reduce sentencing disparities and promote transparency and proportionality in criminal sentencing. Judge Gleeson, who has served as a Commissioner of the United States Sentencing Commission since 2022, is a partner at Debevoise and Plimpton LLP in New York, where he has practiced since 2016. Before then, he served from 1994-2016 as a United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York, and from 1985 to 1994 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.
If confirmed again, Judge Gleeson and co-nominee Judge Claria Horn Boom would continue serving with the President’s other five bipartisan nominees whose terms have not expired.
N.Y. GOV. HOCHUL IN ISRAEL
ISRAEL — NEW YORK GOV. KATHY HOCHUL arrived in Israel Wednesday on a solidarity mission after the horrific Hamas terrorist attack. During day one of her trip, the governor met Ambassador Michael Herzog, visited displaced families at Shefayim, thanked volunteers at the Leket Israel food pantry and greeted displaced families staying in Ra’anana. She will return to the U.S. on Friday.
President Biden was also in Israel on Tuesday to express heartfelt solidarity with Israel, address the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and announce new humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of innocent Palestinians.
HOCHUL, IN ISRAEL, MOURNS FATHER’S SUDDEN PASSING
ISRAEL — GOVERNOR HOCHUL IS CONTINUING WITH HER TRIP to Israel following the sudden passing of her father, John Courtney, at age 87 in Florida on Wednesday night, reports ABC News; Courtney reportedly encouraged Hochul’s decision to visit the Mediterranean nation in the wake of last week’s eruption of violence between Israel and Gaza Strip ruling party Hamas. The governor visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall, a Jewish site of mourning, on Thursday morning, and placed a note praying for the victims of the recent attacks and for her father in its cracks, a traditional practice.
Hochul then visited the Catholic Church of the Holy Sepulchre, held to be the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, before resuming her scheduled tour and meeting wounded soldiers and families at a military hospital; she is set to return to the U.S. on Friday.
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